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tv   The Ed Show  MSNBC  November 1, 2012 3:00am-4:00am EDT

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there are two choices in this electi. vote for obama, you don't get romney. vote for romney, you don't get obama. all the rest, all the distractions, and mickey mouse, and it comes down to this. will you, you, the person you are in your soul, be counted? if not, i just don't know a good thing to say to you. this one counts for history. and that's "hardball" for now, thanks for being with us. "the ed show" with ed schultz starts right now. good evening, americans, and welcome to "the ed show" from new york. six days until the 2012 election. president obama is showing mitt romney and the rest of the world what real leadership looks like during a time of crisis. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. >> the federal government will be working as closely as possible with the state and local officials, and we will not quit until this is done. >> big government makes a big impact in new jersey, where the president tours the state with chris christie. >> it's been a great working relationship to make sure that we're doing the jobs that people have asked us to do.
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today and he joins me live tonight. plus, jonathan alter on why good governance is good politics. e.j. dionne on mitt romney's troubling post-hurricane trouble. dnc chair debbie wasserman schultz on mitt romney's disappearing act. and bob shrum is here tonight, with a brand-new electoral map that will put a smile on democrats' faces. >> good to have you with us tonight, folks, thanks for watching. washington, pay attention. it has taken a life-altering disaster to show the country how our elected officials can work together, regardless of party affiliation. now, they're officials, they're not leaders until they work together, and this is what we're seeing. president obama arrived in new jersey today to get a closer look at the damage from hurricane sandy. he was greeted by governor chris christie. and the two men just continued to work on this partnership that
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they got going when it comes to recovering from this storm. in fact, they've been doing it before the storm hit. now, these were the sites the president saw as he flew over the jersey coastline. image after image of flooded homes, destroyed boardwalks and washed out roads dominated the president's trip. on the ground, president obama and governor christie visited relief shelters throughout the area. the governor offered this assessment of the president to storm victims. he means what he says. it's important that he is here. christie had more praise later on. >> we spent a significant afternoon together surveying the damage up and down the new jersey coastline. we were on marine one together to be able to show the president that personally, had an opportunity to see it and we had an opportunity to discuss it at length, and then going over to the shelter here, being able to meet with folks and see the president and his
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concern, the concern all of us have for making sure that things get back to normal as quickly as possible. i discussed all those issues today with the president, and i'm pleased to report that he has sprung into action immediately to help get us those things while we were in the car riding together. so i want to thank him for that. he has worked incredibly closely with me, since before the storm hit. i think this is our sixth conversation since the weekend, and it's been a great working relationship to make sure that we're doing the jobs that people elected us to do. and i cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our state. and i heard it in the phone conversations with him, and i was able to witness it today personally. >> i mean, wow! mitch mcconnell, john boehner, did you see or did you hear that today? president obama returned the compliments when he took the podium. >> governor christie, throughout this process, has been
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responsive. he's been aggressive in making sure that the state got out in front of this incredible storm, and i think the people of new jersey recognize that he has put his heart and soul into making sure that the people of new jersey bounce back, even stronger than before. so i just want to thank him for his extraordinary leadership and partnership. >> so is the country moving forward? the white house released this photo of the president and the governor of new jersey in conversation aboard marine one. president obama left no doubt, the federal government will see the cleanup throughout to the end. >> we are here for you, and we will not forget. we will follow up to make sure that you get all the help that you need, until you've rebuilt. >> and, of course, the rebuilding will be extensive. entire sections of the new jersey coastline need to be refigured. governor chris christie already requested attention from the army corps of engineers to help reinforce the shoreline. the national guard was called in
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to several states to assist with the recovery. in hoboken, new jersey, troops helped rescue efforts in a city where as many as 20,000 people were stuck in their homes. the key for many areas is to reduce the flooding in order to restore services. in hoboken, the floodwaters are contaminated with sewage, making cleanup more difficult. it will still be days before new york city's subway system is completely drained. stations at lower manhattan are still filled with water and are not able to be inspected. today, mayor bloomberg announced limited service is going to be restored tomorrow. many city residents still do not have power. utility companies estimate about 6 million households on the east coast still remain without power. electricity isn't the only thing in short supply. these cars you're looking at are not parked. they are waiting in line stretching for miles on a new
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jersey highway. drivers are desperate to fill their tanks with gasoline, which is now in short supply. gas stations in new york city and long island have also reported shortages. in the midst of all of this, the presidential election is just days away. mitt romney was back on the stump in florida today. the candidate is still staying quiet on his commitment to fema, but a campaign spokesperson released this statement, so good that we can hear from the campaign on this and not the candidate, right? "a romney/ryan administration will always ensure that disaster funding is there for those in need, period." period? vice president joe biden was campaigning also in the sunshine state today. president obama returns to the campaign trail tomorrow. he plans to barnstorm seven battleground states over the next several days. but today we did not see politics in action. what we saw was government in action. people with authority to make decisions. chris christie is not the first
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person, i think, that you would think of when you come to the, you know, arena of bipartisan cooperation. he is a mitt romney supporter and a fierce opponent of many democratic issues. for whatever reason, we saw a different chris christie with president obama today. this is what cooperation looks like. when the american people need government to work, these two elected officials became leaders and are in lockstep with each other. about time, isn't it? things are getting done. so many politicians run for office saying that they are going to reach across the aisle when they get to washington, and they're going to get things done when they get elected. most of them never deliver. now, in defense of president obama, i just want to remind the country tonight that he has had to put up with a record number of filibusters and has gotten no help from the republicans on anything -- on anything. when it comes to jobs, and the economy is the most important thing.
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guess what, in new jersey, the economy just got a hell of a lot tougher. and it's all about leadership right now, and i hope that president obama and chris christie are really by display giving an example to lawmakers who said that they were going to washington to work on behalf of constituents, because i think that we are seeing some real leadership right now, and i think that they can have an impact. and i think it would be good for constituents around the country now to ask the questions of those who are running for office, can you do what those two guys are doing? get your cell phones out. i want to know what you think. tonight's question. do you approve of the federal government's response following hurricane sandy? text "a" for yes, text "b" for no to 622639. you can always go to our blog at we'll bring you the results later on in the show. joining me tonight, new jersey senator robert menendez. he, of course, was with president obama and governor chris christie today. senator, great to have you with us.
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you were right in the middle of all of those discussions today and getting up close as to what is happening. i understand that you're going through some pretty tough times as a resident of new jersey, as well, so you know firsthand what the heck is going on. but i want to focus, if i can, senator, on the climate that's in washington and what we're seeing play out in your state. clearly, there is a difference when it comes to cooperation. how effective is it? >> well, it's been very effective, ed. you know, these aren't republican communities or democratic communities. they're american communities. and today we saw the best of that in terms of the president, along with the governor and other elected officials from the federal government, myself, senator lautenberg, congressman lobianzo from that section of the state and all the way down. so the bottom line is, this is about taking caring all we were sworn to take care of. the president is every american,
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the government is every new jerseyian, and myself representing the state, so that's what we're out there doing, and i'm thrilled to see the response we're getting from the federal government here with fema, with the army corps of engineers, with national guard doing some tremendous work in places like hoboken. >> how emotional is this for the residents, senator? >> you know, ed, i've hugged a lot of people over the last couple of days. you know, when you lose everything -- i was in pleasantville, which is a small community right outside of atlantic city, and the mayor there said, i've got to show you this one section. i was in a shelter, and he said, i want to show you this one section, and he showed me by the bay a row of homes who had the back of their hopeless totally ripped out. it looks like a doll house, you can see the home inside. and, you know, people who were inside, and, you know, shocked obviously from what they're going through or, you know, and then you see people like the mayor of moonachie, who said to me yesterday, senator, i lost my
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police department, lost most of my fire department, city hall's under water, and about 80% of my residents are under water. and he's out there trying to make the best of it. so -- and i've also seen some of the great aspects, ed. one thing i want to say, the better angels in people. it's amazing how you can see new jerseyians come together. a young woman from hoboken, whose basement apartment is flooded, has no idea what tomorrow brings. she's in a shelter helping other people, not even thinking about what tomorrow is for her. just one of many examples. >> senator, what can your residents expect? this is going to be a long road back, isn't it? >> it's going to be a slog. and just in hoboken, you're pumping 500 million gallons of water out so that you can get, you know, the wires recovered and then, ultimately, hopefully get the electricity back on. so this is going to be a slog. you know, we have substations, generating stations that got flooded. those, when we get those back online, something i asked the president maybe with the energy
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department to help us, any resources they have to be able to do that. he talked about national utility companies sending people to new jersey and air-lifting them through c-130s, and military transport, that's all great. because the sooner we can get those substations going, we're going to be able to open up electricity for large numbers of people. and that begins to improve quality of life, get people back on the street. you know, into work, get their kids in school, get businesses started up again. >> and finally, senator, are we going to go through a real tough fight on how to pay for all of this? it's upwards of $50 billion right now. are we going to have the fight in washington about offsets when it comes to this? is this -- are these victims along the shoreline, hey, you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, because when the president says, we're in this for the long haul, and we're going to be there, what does that mean? >> well, that means recovery. you showed pictures of seaside heights. that's just some of the tremendous devastation i've seen throughout the state.
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the reality is, this is a long-term recovery. and, you know, at the end of the day, we need the federal government to be part of that. and i would just say to any one of my colleagues in the country, remember, you know, it was joplin, today it's new jersey, tomorrow it could be you. it could be a tornado. it could be a hurricane of different proportions. you know, the country is here to take care of its citizens. and, you know, they don't ask about offsets at that time. we can figure that out later. >> all right. new jersey senator robert menendez, great to have you with us tonight on "the ed show." appreciate it so much. >> thank you. >> all the best. remember to answer tonight's question there at the bottom of the screen. share your thoughts on twitter @edshow and on facebook, we always want to know what you think. coming up, the romney storm relief event was even more staged than we already knew. e.j. dionne joins me for the discussion. stay tuned. you're watching "the ed show" on msnbc.
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coming up, mitt romney's so-called relief event in ohio turned out to be a photo op. i mean, he's got all kinds of problems in ohio. we've got the details and visit with e.j. dionne next. the road to 270 is rapidly narrowing for the candidate. bob shrum of "the daily beast" thinks it's over. he'll weigh in on the state of the presidential race. and later, as we talked about, governor christie and president obama took politics aside to help new jersey towns devastated by sandy. jonathan alter joins me to discuss why good governance is also good politics and timing is everything. share your thoughts with us on facebook and on twitter using #edshow.
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show." welcome back to "the ed show." mitt romney's storm relief event in dayton, ohio, was more than it seemed. turns out the romney campaign, they bought $5,000 worth of supplies the night before, to make sure that, you know, this whole thing just kind of came off okay and looked good. well, the idea was to collect goods for the red cross. very noble even though the red cross would always prefer cash donations for logistical reasons. the campaign was worried that there might not be enough donations since the event was changed at the last minute. so the night before the event, according to buzzfeed, campaign aides went to a local walmart and spent $5,000 on granola bars, canned foods, diapers, and it put on display while they waited for donations to come in. according to one staffer, the campaign confirmed to buzzfeed, it did donate supplies to the relief effort, but would not specify just how much it spent.
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buzzfeed also reported that empty-handed supporters were told to grab something going in. this should really come as no surprise. mitt romney has to manufacture a real connection to real people event, because it just doesn't exist with this guy. the latest ohio poll shows romney trailing president obama badly on whether the candidate cares about the needs of people like you. president obama also leads on who is better at helping the middle class. president obama also leads romney by five points in ohio in large part because romney's 47% problems just continue to haunt him. it is halloween, isn't it? let's bring in msnbc contributor, e.j. dionne, who is also a "washington post" columnist and author of the book, "our divided political heart." you know, this storm, as devastating as it is, e.j., it seems to have created some real problems for the romney campaign. it's almost as if you see them,
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and they are thinking, and you can see them thinking out loud, oh, no, now what do we do? staging events. i mean, how low does it get? your thoughts? >> well, first of all, i would like to send my love out to my wife's family in rockaway, queens, the neighborhood right on the ocean that got hammered. it's a great area and those folks are having a tough time right now. and i think this storm presented romney with a slew of problems, and that's how they got themselves into this botched photo-op. i mean, first, of necessity, the president is in the center of the story, and he looks pretty good out there. and it looks like the federal relief efforts are on track. second, even worse for romney, you just showed it, chris christie out there with the president, not only that, but saying the president's doing a good job. chris christie was one of romney's earliest endorsers, the keynoter at the republican convention. that is a kind of nightmare. and the third is, romney had
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once said that it would be a good idea to cut back on federal disaster relief, maybe leave it to the states more. that doesn't look good now. so with all that on the table, he had to do something. and if he had simply encouraged donations, preferably cash donations, to charities that are doing good work, that would have been fine. that would have been a good thing to do. but the romney campaign always seems to have to push it one or two steps farther, and that's what they did here, and that's how they get themselves not exactly the story on your shore or other shows that they would like.wre or other shows that they would like or other shows that they would lik or other shows that they would like. >> well, sending aides over to a store to buy a bunch of stuff and handing them supporters as they go in and calling it a relief effort, i really think, is a serious stretch. but he's had problems with the truth throughout all of this. now, at the same event, he wouldn't answer questions about fema, but today a spokesperson assures everybody that romney is not interested in getting rid of fema. do you buy it?
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>> no, not necessarily. i mean, again, the problem with romney is we don't know which position from which time is actually his position. there have certainly been cuts in the republican congress to relief efforts. and i think this story really does remind us that the federal government has a role to play. the federal government can play a positive role in our lives. one of the reasons katrina was such a big scandal is for years, particularly under clinton, who really did a good job of reforming fema, we said, yeah, this is one of the things the federal government does well. and when states get into trouble like this, yes, they can do things for themselves, and they do a lot of stuff for themselves. but they've got to have the fed. so i think right now, he has no choice but to say, well, whatever i said before, i'm going to keep fema. >> e.j. dionne, are we going to be looking back on this campaign if romney losing saying it was the 47% tsunami,
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that it really was that that set the table for a lot of other problems that he just couldn't overcome throughout this campaign? >> well, i think that the -- whatever momentum romney had from the first debate stopped. and my reading of the polls is the last week had already been going at least slightly in obama's direction. and at least on the first couple of days, from the reaction to what the president did, from the difficulties romney has, this appears to be helping obama some more. and as long as polling stations can open up in places like philadelphia and in northern virginia, then the storm, i think, because he responded well, will end up helping obama more than it hurts him. >> e.j. dionne, always good to have you with us on "the ed show." thanks so much. the romney camp says they'll win next tuesday. the latest poll numbers, folks, they tell just a different story. bob shrum weighs in next. later, it's been three weeks, count 'em, three weeks
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candidate, actually took a question from reporters? and hurricane sandy is highlighting his transparency problems. dnc chair debbie wasserman schultz is here with reaction tonight. stay with us.
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thanks for joining us tonight. now, to hear the romney campaign tell the story they're preparing for certain victory on election day. >> obama has a political environment problem.
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he's got an intensity problem. he's got an image problem. and he's got a ballot problem, and they all add up to a challenging tuesday next week. >> image problem? that's a new one. romney campaign senior advisers are out and about making bold statements to reporters, yet providing little evidence. >> the firewall that i think they talked about was iowa, wisconsin, and ohio. and right now, their firewall is burning. >> well, but the polling tells a much different story. it's not looking pretty for mitt romney in ohio. the president has a sizable lead back in wisconsin. and he's up in virginia by five points. the president even has a narrow lead in florida. today, mitt romney campaigned in florida to try to make up some ground. but it may be too late. nbc affiliate wttv obtained a memo from a worried gop adviser in west palm beach. >> we obtained an internal memo from a gop campaign adviser that
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says early and absentee turnout is starting to look troubling. the memo's conclusion? that the democratic turnout machine is cleaning our clock. >> in the meantime, romney's campaign is making a last-ditch effort to expand the electoral map. team romney is looking to make a dent in states like michigan, pennsylvania, and minnesota, that were previously not in play. the obama camp is calling out those efforts. >> i will shave off my mustache of 40 years if we lose any of those three states. >> as for the president, he will resume campaigning while monitoring sandy relief efforts. he will embark on a whirlwind swing state tour this weekend, going to ohio, wisconsin, iowa, virginia, new hampshire, florida, and colorado. everything that really matters in this race. i'm joined by bob shrum tonight, professor of public policy at nyu and contributor to "the daily beast." is it over? what do you think? >> well, you know, it's not over
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until they count the votes, but if you look at the structure of the race, the president has so many more ways to 270 than romney does. romney's momentum, if it ever existed, and, you know, he was led into the race by the first debate, slowed after the second debate, stopped, and now when you go through these polls, it looks like it's reversing again. you know what, david axelrod says he'll shave his mustache if they carry those three states. i'll grow one if they carry those three states. and i'll tell you why. pennsylvania is always fool's gold for the republicans. wisconsin, that new poll you showed, the president's eight points ahead. that represents a big comeback. michigan, they're not going to win michigan. i mean, there's a new poll out from epic mri tonight, which had been showing romney doing fairly well, which says, nope, it's gone back the other way, and the reason is the auto bailout. you know what i would say to neil newhouse, the first person you quoted with all those problems that the president has? romney has a poll problem. he's behind. he's behind in almost every single one of the battleground
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states. if he loses ohio, he has to win everything else virtually. >> so he's dropping -- of course, the super pacs are dropping a bunch of money in the states that you mentioned. five days can be an eternity with that kind of money. >> the reason they're spending the money there, they can't spend any more in the other states. all the time is bought. they have more money than runway. look, we've seen this before. in 2000, karl rove said, george w. bush was going to win california. they spent millions and millions of dollars on advertising there. they sent bush out there, precious time, near the end of the campaign. i said, tad devine, carter, those of us involved in that campaign, so we're not spending one dime in california, and gore won the state by 1.3 million votes. the wish can't become father to the reality, which is what's going on here. >> like a team trying to talk their way to a championship instead of playing the game, so to speak. shouldn't romney have florida wrapped up? >> he should.
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i mean he's got a lot -- there he has structural advantages because he's got the governor. he's got virtually all the statewide officials. but i think the medicare, which the republicans like to say, oh, we've countered it with this lie about a $716 billion cut under obama care, when, in fact, there is no such cut. there's no cut in benefits. i think that seniors have figured out two things. one, romney wants to replace medicare with voucher care. they don't like it. but isn't it the latino and the african-american turnout in southern florida that's going to do it for president obama?>but e african-american turnout in southern florida that's going to do it for president obam>but is the african-american turnout in southern florida that's going to do it for president obama?afric southern florida that's going to do it for president obama? >> if he carries florida, it will be the latino turnout, it will be the african-american turnout, and it will be a reduced margin among seniors. >> okay. bob, the storm. the polls were taken before sandy hit. 78% approve of the president's handling of the storm. does this change things at all? i mean, here's the president doing his job, doing what he is
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supposed to do, and apparently doing such a good job, one of his archrivals in the political world, chris christie, is just showering the president with compliments. does this have an effect? >> well, you know, i give chris christie some praise, which is very rare for me. >> you think he's real? >> i think he's on the level about this. i think he cares about his state, and i think the president responded and did everything that christie asked. look, you live here in new york, and you go through this, and the first thing you think about is all these folks, not the political impact and what's happening to them, but beyond that, i think you will see early voting will slow down in some parts of virginia. you may have some people who don't vote in new jersey or can't vote in new jersey or new york, but the president's going to carry both of those states. >> bob shrum, great to have you with us. thanks so much. >> thanks. >> there's a lot more coming up in the next half hour of "the ed show." stay with us. >> governor, what would you do with fema? why won't you answer any questions on it? >> mitt romney can't get his story straight. so he isn't saying anything. up next, dnc chair, debbie
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wasserman schultz on the silence of mitt romney. >> michele bachmann is a minnesota laughingstock. >> that's one thing i do not do. [ laughter ] >> find out why she was dropping my name at her debate last night. and president obama and chris christie are doing the right thing in new jersey. tonight, jonathan alter on why good governance is good politics.
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and we are back. throughout mitt romney's entire campaign, he's had serious problems with transparency. nbc news campaign embedded reporter, garrett hake, tweetaa tweetetweeted today, "it's been three weeks since romney last took a question from reporters?
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three weeks? three weeks! meanwhile, hurricane sandy and the issue of disaster relief is bringing romney's transparency problem front and center. romney refused to answer questions on what he would do with fema. at least 14 times on tuesday he was asked that. however, earlier today, a romney campaign spokeswoman said that the emergency management response would include help from the federal government and fema. her response is a world away from the debate where mitt romney said fema should be privatized. romney has a long history of flip-flopping and dodging questions on a number of important issues. he's refused to, let's see, give specifics on his budget and tax plan. he's refused to say if he supports the lily ledbetter fair pay act for women. he's refused to say if he would enter one-on-one nuclear talks with the iranians. he's refused to answer questions relating to richard mourdock's rape comments. and finally, mitt romney has actually refused to go on nickelodeon and answer questions from children. now, if mitt romney can't answer
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questions from 5-year-old kids, how do you think that's going to play with the national press corps? and isn't it interesting that fox news can't even get an interview with mitt romney right now? for more, let's turn to congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz of florida. she's a chairwoman of the democratic national committee. congresswoman, good to have you with us tonight. it's a very strange strategy, being played out by mitt romney. what do you make of it? >> well, i think what this boils down to is a matter of who do you trust? i mean, we know that there is a very stark contrast and a clear choice in terms of the two directions that we could go. but, i mean, time and again now, we have examples of mitt romney either being blatantly dishonest like with the jeep ad and the welfare ad, that, by the way, you know, weren't announced. i mean, maybe mitt romney thinks that only voters are watching and not fact checkers, but, you
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know, the fact that he has refused to answer where he is on all of these issues, the fact that during the debates he essentially hid his true positions, for example, he also is denying that he would turn medicare into a voucher system. he denies that he has a $5 trillion tax cut plan skewed towards the wealthy that would increase taxes on the middle class. it comes down to who do you trust? >> well, he just won't answer any -- >> and president obama has consistently been there. >> no doubt. now, with this storm, and the aftermath, you think voters will react to romney's theme of flip-flop? is this a major issue for him right now, where it would affect voters? >> well, you know, i think there's a very clear example here where you have the president, you know, making sure that we put first things first, you lay politics aside, and both as the storm was approaching and in the aftermath of the storm, that as commander in chief he's protecting the americans who are
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in harm's way and making sure that we can get things cleaned up and get them -- their needs taken care of and make sure -- >> but, i mean, mitt romney has talking about privatizing this part of the government. this has been his philosophy. >> yes, and as a floridian, that's very disturbing. i can tell you that because six months of the year in florida, we are in harm's way, potentially during hurricane season. you know, the idea that mitt romney, during the primaries, in answer to a point-blank question from john king about whether or not we should get rid of fema and send this responsibility to the states, he said, yes, and then even better, you could go further and privatize it. i mean, the aftermath of a storm is one in which it needs a coordinated effort between state, federal, and local government, which president obama and governor christie and governor malloy and the other elected officials in the region affected have been doing yeoman's work. i shudder to think about what we
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would do down here in florida in the aftermath of a storm if we didn't have fema to coordinate everything. >> the koch brothers' super pac -- the koch brothers' super pac, americans for prosperity, said today that they're going to spend $3 million on anti-obama advertising in pennsylvania and michigan all the way up until election day. now, six days, five days is a lot of impact there. what's your take on this? i mean, is this going to have an impact? are we going to see the full throat of citizens united down the stretch? >> i'm sure that they're going to go swimming in the kitchen sink at this point. i mean, what they can't get away from is that we have been executing our ground game that we built for almost two years now. actually, in some states we never left like north carolina, like florida, where our organization has been there since the beginning of the last campaign, and we've been executing, we've run circles around the republicans when it comes to early vote.
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i mean just to give you an idea, ed, there's four or five counties here, lee county, escambia county, bre yard county that's almost double digit or double-digit republican registration advantages, and there are many democrat that have turned out to early vote than republicans. and that -- we've eclipsed them in early voting. we've run circles around them in the ground game. so let them swimming in the kitchen sink and we're going to keep turns out voters. that's what's going to re-elect president obama the president of the united states. >> so does president obama win florida? >> president obama is going to win florida, i am confident. >> congresswoman debbie wasserman schultz with us tonight, thanks so much. >> thank you. coming up, congresswoman michele bachmann faced democratic challenger jim graves in their first debate last night. i'll show you the bachmann claim that had the whole audience in stitches laughing. stay tuned.
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[ heart beating, monitor beeping ] woman: what do you mean, homeowners insurance doesn't cover floods? [ heart rate increases ] man: a few inches of water caused all this? [ heart rate increases ] woman #2: but i don't even live near the water. what you don't know about flood insurance may shock you -- including the fact that a preferred risk policy starts as low as $129 a year. for an agent, call the number that appears on your screen. up next, michele bachmann, congresswoman from minnesota gets some big laughs at her debate against jim graves last
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night after she says she doesn't engage in political speech. we'll have all the details. you'll want to see the reaction from the crowd. and in the big finish, putting politics aside to give aid to states devastated by sandy. jonathan alter joins me to discuss the response from the state and national leaders. don't forget, you can listen to my radio show on xm sirius channel 127 monday through friday, noon to 3:00 p.m. follow me on twitter @edshow and like "the ed show" on facebook. we're right back. 
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and my favorite story of the night. yesterday, congresswoman michele bachmann faced democratic challenger jim graves in the first of three debates leading up to election day. the two clashed over bridges, health care, taxes, and entitlements. but the most memorable moment was this one. >> teresa, you just heard some
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political speak there, huh? i mean, again, michele doesn't say what she's for, she says what she's against. >> it's insulting to say that these are political speech because that's one thing i do not do is political -- [ laughter ] >> i want to just -- >> we're going to switch gears because i think we need to move on. >> switch gears quickly. she doesn't engage in political speak. you know, if she loses her house seat, i think she should give stand-up comedy a shot. what do you think? see michele bachmann's entire tea party-approved career is dependent on her reckless political rhetoric. nobody would know her name if it wasn't for moments like these. >> now we've moved into the realm of gangster government. we have gangster government when the federal government has set up a new cartel. i want people in minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of energy tax because we need to fight back. i find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the
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swine flu broke out then under another democrat president, jimmy carter, and i'm not blaming this on president obama, i just think it's an interesting coincidence. this is it for freedom. if you believe in liberty, and if you don't want -- if you're rejecting tyranny, this is it. referrals to follow-up for specialty care. is that abortion? does that mean that someone's 13-year-old daughter could walk into a sex clinic, have a pregnancy test be done, taken away to the local planned parenthood abortion clinic, have their abortion, be back, and go home on the school bus that night. mom and dad are never the wiser. we have to today make a covenant, slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. this will not pass. we will do whatever it takes to make sure this does not pass. we now have an imperial presidency where the president has appointed various guards. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much. >> thank you for allowing me -- >> thank you. >> ah, the highlight reel. the people of minnesota's sixth district have a real choice to
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make, and it's really no longer a laughing matter. tonight in our survey, i asked you, do you approve of the federal government's response following hurricane sandy? 99% of you say yes, 1% of you say no. coming up, good policy is good politics, and today was a major example. jonathan alter joins me next. stay with us.
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we are here for you, and we will not forget. we will follow up to make sure that you get all the help that you need until you've rebuilt. >> so is this going to be big government or small government doing this? welcome back to "the ed show," the big finish tonight. that was president obama, obviously, summing up the purpose of his visit to new jersey and the meeting with governor chris christie today. we are here for you. good. it's a strong, positive statement of good government at its best. president obama also showed how effective he is as a leader. >> and the directive that i've given, and i've said this year, but i will repeat, and i think craig and others who are working with me right now know i mean it. we are not going to tolerate red tape. we're not going to tolerate bureaucracy. and, you know, i've instituted a 15-minute rule, essentially, on my team. you return everybody's phone calls in 15 minutes. whether it's the mayor's, the governor's, the county officials. if they need something, we figure out a way to say yes.
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>> in the highlight, the president described neighbors coming together in the spirit of this country. >> when you see neighbors helping neighbors, then you're reminded about what america is all about. we go through tough times, but we bounce back. and the reason we bounce back is because we look out for one another. and we don't leave anybody behind. >> there's probably no question that the political careers of both governor christie and president obama have been helped by the way they have been working together. both leaders were doing their job, and trying their best to marshal the resources of the federal and state government. it's the recovery that is going to take very long and a great deal of patience. but no doubt, it's off to a great start. joining me tonight, jonathan alter, msnbc political analyst and columnist for bloomberg view. i mean, we have had -- >> hi, ed. >> -- one of the real nemesis of the obama administration, chris christie, rejected the stimulus package that would have connected manhattan with his
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state, which was big commerce. he fired 6,000 teachers, he has attacked public unions. he vilifies workers all the time about they're on a wage and looking for something more. and now here he is cozying up to the president in a time of crisis. explain it. >> well, you can use all sorts of political explanations, like, you know, it would be easier for him to run for president at the end of an obama second term than it would be at the end of a romney second term or that this helps them to get re-elected as governor of new jersey, but i choose to see it in a more sincere fashion. this is a government whose state is in deep trouble, my state. there are a lot of people hurting, and so this really isn't about politics. it's about trying to use government for its -- really its highest purpose, which is to help people when they're in trouble. and as a northeastern republican, who understands, as
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mitt romney did when he was governor of massachusetts, that this, you know, extreme conservatism, this severe conservative thinking, as romney described himself, it just doesn't cut it when people are hurting. >> well, having covered storms and devastation, you know, in small towns in the middle of the country, when people lose their homes, they feel like they have lost absolutely everything, and they don't know where to turn next, and it does affect your emotion on how you view the role of government. do you think chris christie is seeing a different role of government, having seen what he has seen the last few days in his state? >> no, i think he's always been pretty sophisticated about this kind of thing, but he knows that he needs to have a great relationship with the obama administration to get the help that he needs. you can see him in that picture that we just saw nodding his head vigorously, when the president said that every phone call would be returned within 15 minutes. he needs a responsive federal
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government, but what this does, what this whole scene today does is it reinforces one of the most important themes of this election. do americans believe in government, because the conservative wing of the republican party, which dominates that political party, believes the answer is no. and as you heard earlier in the broadcast, mitt romney actually was ready to privatize fema. now, imagine what would to the people of new york or new jersey if fema were privatized or if it were filled with hacks -- remember brownie. now we have craig fugate and they are getting it done. >> they purport this theory that the federal government has no role, a limited role. new jersey's been run over with disaster. i mean, they don't have the state resources to recover, at least within the next decade. i mean, the insurance claims alone, i mean, the push on
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public services, the rebuilding of the schools and people's economies, i mean, the federal government has to play a role. so doesn't this shoot down romney's argument across the board in many respects in this campaign season? >> i think it shoots it down in three ways, on the role of government, you know, if his idea of privatizing fema is not a big issue this weekend, the last weekend of the campaign, i would be very surprised. the second is on infrastructure, you know, the president had a jobs bill that had a lot of infrastructure in it. one of the reason that things went badly in new york were poor infrastructure investments. the republicans have voted against this. abraham lincoln was the original infrastructure man. it's looney toons that the republicans have abandoned that. and the third is climate change. the republicans denied -- they are full -- the party is full of climate change deniers. so we haven't had hurricanes in the new york area in the past.


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